9-9-09 a Good Day for Marriage

A newly-wed couple at a mass wedding ceremony in front of Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 9, 2009 /AFP A newly-wed couple at a mass wedding ceremony in front of Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 9, 2009 /AFP

Couples around the world are hoping that Wednesday's unusual 9-9-09 (ninth month-ninth day-2009) date will bring them good luck in marriage.

China predicted more than 10,000 marriages Wednesday while some 500 couples said "I do" at a mass wedding in Malaysia. The numbers "9-9" are pronounced "jiu jiu" in Mandarin Chinese, and mean longevity or everlasting.

Singapore's Registry of Marriages recorded more than 360 couples exchanging vows Wednesday. The Straits Times newspaper says the registry usually averages about 64 per day.

Australia, Russia and the U.S. also predicted a significant increase in the number of marriages.

A discount store in the western U.S. state of California is using the numbers to its advantage Wednesday. The "99 Cents Only" store in Hollywood is giving nine couples 99-cent weddings.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

VOA News / Sep. 10, 2009 07:27 KST